This is a quick, no fuss dish but definitely refined, think flavorful fare. The recipe is adapted from the cookbook, The Cafe Cook Book by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers. Their recipes reflect the unpretentious country Italian fare they serve in their popular restaurant in London, The River Cafe. Most of their dishes center around two or three main ingredients and usually require a few short steps to realize the flavor potential of each.
2 lb small young zucchini, trimmed
2 TBS olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb penne
12 oz fresh ricotta cheese
Freshly ground pepper
1 bunch basil, shredded
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1. Bring large pot of water, seasoned with sea salt to a boil. Add the zucchini whole and boil for 2 minutes. Drain, cool and slice at an angle in 1/2″ thick slices.
2. Bring a large pot of water, seasoned with sea salt, to a boil. In a large heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook until softened but not brown, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, and add the zucchini slices. Cook, tossing gently 4-5 minutes, until zucchini is lightly browned on the edges. Remove from heat.
3. Add the penne to the boiling water, and cook till tender but still firm. Drain well. Return zucchini to low heat and add penne. Crumble in ricotta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add basil and Parmesan, and toss to mix. Serve.